Congratulations you are a landlord and have found your tenants, but are new to the industry and unsure of how to get started and what you need to do.
Of course there are different options. You might have decided to use a letting agent and go fully managed or you might decide to opt for a tenant find or decide to self manage. Whichever option you have decided to go for my suggested starting point is to the join the NRLA. Their advice is invaluable and the templates mean you don't need to reinvent the wheel. The hard work has been done for you.
But knowledge is power and keeping up to date requires time and effort. Some tenants are very savvy and some organisations love to portray landlords as the baddie! Only a very small minority of landlords are bad and the same applies to tenants but these create news headlines.
From drawing up your tenancy agreement and sending out the right documentation, to managing your tenants throughout their tenancy and just as importantly after they leave returning deposits in a timely manner.
Communication is key between landlords and tenants to a successful tenancy, but nobody wants to be disturbed at 10pm on a Saturday night reporting that a lightbulb has blown. By setting boundaries and putting processes in place for out of hours emergencies, as well as what constitutes an emergency this can help. We all appreciate how frustrating it is when the washing machine breaks, but it is not in most cases an emergency, unless there is water flooding out of it.
There is a tendency now to believe everything needs an immediate response and that we are surgically attached to our phones! I was recently talking to another business owner who told me that she regularly receives messages at all times of the day and night, seven days a week.
Instant messaging is great but there is a limit. I suggest that my clients set up an out of hours telephone answering service, where a message is taken and then you receive a text alerting you to an issue. This adds a boundary and means that you are not always available for less urgent issues.
The kind of calls my clients get include lockouts and heating and hot water issues and also means that tenants are aware that we do not work 24 hours a day 7 days a week and won't reply to instant messaging platforms outside normal working hours but still provide an emergency service. This has worked well with the clients who have implemented it and does mean that time is protected outside normal office hours.
With the additional layer of the out of hours number you can decide if it is a genuine emergency and which member of the team is going to respond and sort out the issue. Providing an on call service is physically and emotionally draining and means that you never have any time to yourself. I personally keep a separate number for each of my clients and also make sure to turn the phone off at the end of my work hours.
I never fail to be amazed by the number of people who think that it is fine to contact you at any time day or night and on a Monday morning regularly find messages about all sorts of different things, from the kitchen is dirty to have you had my rent payments.
I am a specialist property virtual assistant, looking after HMOs, single lets and multi lets.